How we protect our urban natural spaces will determine Canada’s biodiversity over the decades to come. Help us empower Canada’s municipalities with tools and knowledge to protect nature and advance Canada’s 30×30 conservation target.

Canada’s municipalities are home to some of the greatest biodiversity in our country, but also face large pressures that threaten biodiversity loss. Each city, town or region develops their own unique measures to protect their natural spaces. It’s now time for us to ensure these actions are leading to a national impact, through Canada’s target to protect 30% of our land, water, and oceans by 2030.

Five leading nature organizations in Canada are working together to support municipalities, land trusts, and conservation organizations to understand how their sites can contribute to a national movement to halt and reverse nature’s decline.


Canada has committed to protect 30% of our land, water and marine areas by 2030 in order to respond to two of our planet’s largest environmental threats: climate change and biodiversity loss. Municipalities are key players in this goal because they can bring this broad national concept to their local tangible conservation areas that people know, love, and want to protect.

Areas to be conserved under this national framework must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Have clearly defined geographic boundaries
  • Achieve in-situ conservation of biodiversity
  • Prohibit actions incompatible with conservation
  • Are intended to be protected in perpetuity

Sites that meet this criteria can either be designated a Protected Area, if the primary purpose is conservation, or Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECM), if the primary purpose is not conservation but still provides conservation outcomes.

As of 2022, Canada has protected 13.6% of land. The 30×30 target will only be achieved through a collaborative effort at all levels of government, and with a wide range of conservation stakeholders, including land trusts, and conservation organizations.


For this initiative, Nature Canada is collaborating with the Alliance of Canadian Land Trusts (with partners LTABC and RMN), BC NatureOntario Nature, and Wildlands League. This coalition will focus on supporting pilot municipalities across Canada that have demonstrated a readiness to recognize or increase their protected areas and OECMs. With the successful pilot municipalities, we will explore barriers to municipal level conservation, develop a clear toolkit and best practices to support future municipalities interested in increasing their conservation efforts.

We believe in the major opportunity for municipalities to showcase their conservation efforts on a national platform. This is where biodiversity can be protected, where conservation lands can be connected, and Canadians can gain an appreciation for their local natural wonders.



Municipalities can be recognized as leaders in conservation through recognizing protected areas and OECMs and contributing to a national movement. Our coalition can help you take this step.

Actions that municipalities can take:

  • Endorse the Montreal Pledge
  • Make a commitment to supporting the 30×30 conservation target
  • Request a member of the coalition to provide a delegation to your council
  • Establish a municipal environmental advisory committee
  • Ask for support from one of the organizations in the coalition to achieve your 30×30 target
  • Engage with local First Nations and other important stakeholders to achieve ambitious, shared conservation goals
  • Assess lands for eligibility as Protected Areas or Other Effective Conservation Areas
  • Develop strong conservation mechanisms to protect your natural spaces
  • Protect new lands, often in partnership with organizations in the coalition’s network
  • Work with the coalition’s network to build up local biodiversity conservation data and understanding

Our partnership of organizations can support any of the above actions upon request.

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